Hotels and Holiday Cottages in Harleston

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Tourist information

The ancient market town of Harleston is found at the southern tip of the county and was first established where the river Waveney is bridged, separating the Norfolk town from the neighbouring county of Suffolk. Much of the area that is generally identified as Harleston, including the parish church of St Mary's - with its dominating tower - is actually in Redenhall. The town was originally known as Heroluestuna, and thought to have been named after a Danish soldier (Herolf) who was part of the successful Viking invasion.

The town started out as a small market, and in 1259 it was granted a charter. By 1800, the weekly cattle market was thought to be the largest in the county, having obviously benefited greatly from the towns position as a staging post for both coaching companies and cattle drovers. A regular weekly market has been held in Harleston each Wednesday since 1259, and a busy local farmers market also now takes place on the third Saturday of each month at the Swan Hotel.

Norfolk is fortunate to be particularly well served by breweries offering first class beers and real ales. The excellent Grain Brewery is located close to Harleston, in the Waveney valley, and has been brewing premium beers since 2006 from a converted farm dairy in nearby Alburgh. St Peter's Brewery at South Elmham is another fine local brewer, situated in a unique moated medieval hall between Harleston and Bungay; St Peter's also runs a bar and restaurant alongside its brewhouse. Both brewers welcome visitors, and their beers can be found in many pubs throughout East Anglia.

The annual Harleston and Waveney Festival began in 2002, and has grown steadily, presenting a wide-ranging arts programme, and includes a highly successful partnership with musicians from the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Held over three weekends each year, the Harleston and Waveney Art Trail encourages art lovers to visit local artists in their own studios and workshops. Harleston Museum is situated at St George's Hall, and includes amongst its finds a unique collection of invoices from local shops.

In neighbouring Eye, Eye Castle has stood as a motte and bailey castle for over 900 years ago and once dominated the town. Today the fifty foot high, 11th century walls boast a ruined Victorian folly, and area is a popular place for locals to picnic.

Nearest tourist attractions

Starston Windpump


Nearest airports




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